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"I Believe!!!"


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My ex christian beliefs are as follows in 10 simple points, each of which has been the focus of one debate / discussion or another around here: 

 

1 ) I believe that all religions are man made social constructs geared towards politicizing ancient mythology and folklore. 

2 ) I believe that no one really knows with certainty the answer to the question of origins or destination. 

3 ) I believe that the bible is demonstrably false from the outset as a guide to the truth of the universe or the human condition. 

4 ) I believe that anything basing itself on the assumption that the bible is true is automatically false, as the bible is demonstrably false. 

5 ) I believe that morality is an evolved concept which continues to evolve and has never been static or handed down from on high. 

6 ) I believe that the morality of the biblical writings is long since outdated and mostly irrelevant to modern society. 

7 ) I believe that modern scholarship has revealed the truth about the biblical writings and the evolving theistic concepts contained therein. 

8 ) I believe that it's both intellectually honest and well intended to expose what truths can be demonstrated about the bible and christianity, through counter apologetics. 

9 ) I believe that as painful as it may be at times, it's ultimately for the greater good that christianity and similar religions are losing membership and declining into the future under the weight of their own growing lack of relevance. 

10 ) I believe that humanity doesn't need organized religions in the contemporary period in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along according the standards of modern society. 

 

 

What do you believe???? 

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What do I believe?

 

I believe that I can agree with points 2 through 9.

 

But I also believe that I need to modify points 1 and 10, like this.

 

1 )  

I believe that all religions are man made social constructs designed to comfort humans in the face of their own mortality.  That is why every culture and civilization has created stories, tales and myths that they tell themselves to help stave off the terror of impending non-existence.  Along the way certain people came to realize that by politicizing their mythology and folklore, they could gain power over the lives and thoughts of others.  Thus religion became codified and settled into hierarchies and power structures that held sway over kings and commoners alike.  This kind of cynical religious exploitation is alive and well today.

 

10 )

 For the reasons given in point 1, I believe that humanity doesn't need the fluff and circus show of religion in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along.  Instead, empathy is the one thing that would help people to do what's right, to be decent, and to get along.  Experience in this forum has shown that religiously-minded people often have an empathy deficit towards others and often feel the need to rely on ancient rules of morality imposed upon them from upon high and believed to real, by faith.  They are not comfortable working out moral solutions with others on an equal, one-to-one basis.  But if they possessed greater empathy towards others their overreliance on absolute morality would diminish and they would become better people without bringing a god into the equation.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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I think that most every atheist like myself would agree with what you have written above concerning their beliefs also. My comments regard numbers 8 through 10.

 

8 ) I believe that it's both intellectually honest and well intended to expose what truths can be demonstrated about the bible and Christianity, through counter apologetics. 

 

Although intellectually honest, exposure of non-truths could depend on the circumstances. To openly discuss such things without invitation may not always be well-intended. It depends on the person. When not invited, it can also be perceived as being overly aggressive. 

 

9 ) I believe that as painful as it may be at times, ............--- painful to some who speak it, and some who listen to it, or both.  Some day religion in general will be laughed at by almost everybody, as we presently laugh at Greek mythology IMO.

 

10 ) I believe that humanity doesn't need the fluff and circus show of religion in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along. 

 

Although in our society and most others, there is a common understanding of what is moral and what is not, much of today's morality has religious underpinnings. The cultural understanding is that for society in general, we must not trespass or take advantage of others without their consent. But most atheists are also aware that in the end, all morality is subjective IMO.

 

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3 hours ago, walterpthefirst said:

What do I believe?

 

I believe that I can agree with points 2 through 9.

 

But I also believe that I need to modify points 1 and 10, like this.

 

1 )  

I believe that all religions are man made social constructs designed to comfort humans in the face of their own mortality.  That is why every culture and civilization has created stories, tales and myths that they tell themselves to help stave off the terror of impending non-existence.  Along the way certain people came to realize that by politicizing their mythology and folklore, they could gain power over the lives and thoughts of others.  Thus religion became codified and settled into hierarchies and power structures that held sway over kings and commoners alike.  This kind of cynical religious exploitation is alive and well today.

 

10 )

 For the reasons given in point 1, I believe that humanity doesn't need the fluff and circus show of religion in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along.  Instead, empathy is the one thing that would help people to do what's right, to be decent, and to get along.  Experience in this forum has shown that religiously-minded people often have an empathy deficit towards others and often feel the need to rely on ancient rules of morality imposed upon them from upon high and believed to real, by faith.  They are not comfortable working out moral solutions with others on an equal, one-to-one basis.  But if they possessed greater empathy towards others their overreliance on absolute morality would diminish and they would become better people without bringing a god into the equation.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

I believe that the amendments to 1) and 10) are self evidently true and correct in scope and depth. 

 

The demonstrations on this forum of a type of empathy deficit towards others by many visiting christians has been self evident. And a matter of public record. Which raises an entire issue unto itself concerning the correlations between empathy deficit minded people and clinging to christianity. I'm sure that sooner or later another christian will be coming along who will want to take issue with this thread when they see it. 

 

I wish them the best of luck trying NOT to prove our points in the process!!!

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On 7/8/2021 at 6:33 PM, pantheory said:

8 ) I believe that it's both intellectually honest and well intended to expose what truths can be demonstrated about the bible and Christianity, through counter apologetics. 

 

Although intellectually honest, exposure of non-truths could depend on the circumstances. To openly discuss such things without invitation may not always be well-intended. It depends on the person. When not invited, it can also be perceived as being overly aggressive. 

 

Whether I'm doing it or someone else, I do believe that good intentions are underlying the counter apologetics. Simply because when a lie has been told and someone who identifies the lie as a lie puts it on blast, they intend to stop a lie at the heart of it. 

 

I do believe that you're right about the abruptness factor and that one does need to pick and choose when and where to expose lies like this. So I'll qualify 8 ) as within a relevant setting like here on the internet and within debate settings. Today I was in the home of local SDA's and opted not to tell them that everything they believe is true is really a lie. It wasn't the time or place. And would have been somewhat out of context and beyond overly aggressive. 

 

On 7/8/2021 at 6:33 PM, pantheory said:

10 ) I believe that humanity doesn't need the fluff and circus show of religion in order for people to do what's right, be decent, and get along. 

 

Although in our society and most others, there is a common understanding of what is moral and what is not, much of today's morality has religious underpinnings. The cultural understanding is that for society in general, we must not trespass or take advantage of others without their consent. But most atheists are also aware that in the end, all morality is subjective IMO.

 

I believe you're right but only because our evolving morality has arisen along side of religions. They are not the source of it. The source is common sense and social pressures. Along with what looks like empathy as a natural human trait which was clearly lesser evolved in the past and has gradually increased with time and evolution. Which leads to my agreement with WalterP.

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This is just for an example, but I'm looking at the world pantheism movement where a set of beliefs or principles are stated to establish the group purpose:  Principles of Scientific Pantheism – World Pantheism

 

  1. We revere and celebrate the Universe as the totality of being, past, present and future. It is self-organizing, ever-evolving and inexhaustibly diverse. Its overwhelming power, beauty and fundamental mystery compel the deepest human reverence and wonder.
  2. All matter, energy, and life are an interconnected unity of which we are an inseparable part. We rejoice in our existence and seek to participate ever more deeply in this unity through knowledge, celebration, meditation, empathy, love, ethical action and art.
  3. We are an integral part of Nature, which we should cherish, revere and preserve in all its magnificent beauty and diversity. We should strive to live in harmony with Nature locally and globally. We acknowledge the inherent value of all life, human and non-human, and strive to treat all living beings with compassion and respect.
  4. All humans are equal centers of awareness of the Universe and nature, and all deserve a life of equal dignity and mutual respect. To this end we support and work towards freedom, democracy, justice, and non-discrimination, and a world community based on peace, sustainable ways of life, full respect for human rights and an end to poverty.
  5. There is a single kind of substance, energy/matter, which is vibrant and infinitely creative in all its forms. Body and mind are indivisibly united.
  6. We see death as the return to nature of our elements, and the end of our existence as individuals. The forms of “afterlife” available to humans are natural ones, in the natural world. Our actions, our ideas and memories of us live on, according to what we do in our lives. Our genes live on in our families, and our elements are endlessly recycled in nature.
  7. We honor reality, and keep our minds open to the evidence of the senses and of science’s unending quest for deeper understanding. These are our best means of coming to know the Universe, and on them we base our aesthetic and religious feelings about reality.
  8. Every individual has direct access through perception, emotion and meditation to ultimate reality, which is the Universe and Nature. There is no need for mediation by priests, gurus or revealed scriptures.
  9. We uphold the separation of religion and state, and the universal human right of freedom of religion. We recognize the freedom of all pantheists to express and celebrate their beliefs, as individuals or in groups, in any non-harmful ritual, symbol or vocabulary that is meaningful to them.
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So what I did in the OP is something akin to the above example. 

 

I was thinking about what positive beliefs can be stated with pretty firm certainty behind each belief. Where ample citation can be provided for each positive belief. Mostly because I look around and see various groups who have belief statements which are ultimately weak and easily refuted. It can be christian denominations, or new age beliefs, or just about anything. Very few, if any, have anything powerful backing the individual positive beliefs. 

 

And as ex christians and the generally non-religious we all tend to put a lot of focus or attention on what we do not believe, as opposed to putting more attention on the things we do believe in. It's a safe space. And rightfully so. No one can knock you down when you're not espousing positive beliefs. So it makes sense to gather around firmer, safer ground where religions and belief are concerned. 

 

But what if the ground were just as firm from a positive belief perspective?

 

In order for that to be the case each positive belief would have to be tried and proven one by one. To where it would impossible or at least extremely difficult for a naysayer from opposition to refute the stated beliefs. The one's I posted seem firm enough, but they need to be scrutinized by christians and others to be fully tried and proven. 

 

The WPM is line by line pretty good. There's some opinion in the statement of beliefs, but I see where the opinions have citation that can be brought in to back them up. It looks like a pretty solid set of 9 beliefs for the most part. And my 10 ex christian oriented beliefs would apply to a much bigger audience as far as that goes, including probably a lot of pantheists in the process of applying to larger scale audiences.  

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If these beliefs could be worked into a movement, I think that a good name could be the, "Next Stage Movement." Based on positive beliefs and illustrating good intentions, while critiquing organized religions including christianity. Toward the benefit of making the next evolutionary move forward away from the ancient need for organized religions. They may have served a purpose in the past, which, is becoming increasingly outdated now. 

 

NSM

 

 

 

 

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